Conservative group Citizens for Community Values has filed an ethics complaint with the Ohio Medical Board over Children's Hospital Medical Center's treatment of transgender youth, CCV announced today during a news conference in front of the Hamilton County Courthouse.
That's drawn sharp rebuttals from trans rights activists, including Cincinnati City Councilmember Chris Seelbach.
CCV leadership says the group's complaint was sparked by a ruling from visiting Hamilton County Juvenile Court Judge Sylvia Hendon that awarded legal custody of a transgender teen seeking hormone therapy from Children's to his grandparents because his parents had barred him from getting that therapy. Instead, they'd like the teen to get psychological therapy from the hospital.
The group says that Children's is "experimenting" on children and violating parents' rights. They've cited testimony from Children's transgender clinic director, who, according to Hendon, said in court that all applicants for therapy at the clinic are considered appropriate candidates for treatment. CCV Executive Director Aaron Baer, Republican State Rep. Tom Brinkman and others spoke at today's news conference, calling on the medical board to investigate the hospital's practices.
“Their concern is whether they can make more money," Brinkman said, "not whether it’s in the child’s interest.”
Seelbach, who in addition to being a councilman is director of recently formed trans rights group Living with Change Foundation, blasted CCV for the complaint.
In a news release today, Seelbach cited statistics claiming that 41 percent of transgender individuals attempt suicide during their lifetimes, making access to hormone therapy and other treatment vital. In 2016, 17-year-old trans teen Leelah Alcorn committed suicide by jumping in front of a truck on I-71 near Mason after her parents refused to allow her to undergo gender therapy. Testimony in the recent case Hendon heard suggested that the teen seeking hormone therapy was at times suicidal over his inability to transition genders.
"It’s unfortunate to see these individuals attack the court ordered rights of a young member of our community," he said in the news release. "Through education, understanding and open dialogue, we hope more people will put the health and safety of children first instead of holding on to outdated and misguided ideals."